Tsimshian Shamanism and Mahamudra Chöd: a Brief Comparative Analysis

In the Tsimshian belief system, there are spirits everywhere, some helpful, some not so helpful If we respect them and treat them well, they all can be helpful. In the traditional Tsimshian healing practices I learned from my ancestors, these spirits are not so separate from mind. The inside is the outside for the Tsimshian, and the physical world is just as illusory as the realms of the spirit/mind. Understanding the illusory nature of phenomena (not just conceptually) is also a belief in Chöd practice:

“Once the yogini has recognized the non-existence of inner and outer phenomena, after the psychic energy (prana-vayu) has entered and started to rise up the central nervous system (avadhuti), then she will begin to experience extraordinary states of ecstasy and [eventually] the Clear Light itself. Knowledge of the three times, and Clairvoyant perception of events near and far, will begin to emerge. Having attained the uncreated Clear Light, then the yogini will acquire an ability of mind to aid vast numbers of sentient beings everywhere… The instruction lineage that explains how to accomplish this is that called the Chöd of Mahamudra.” –Machig Labdrön



Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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